DEAR HELOISE: Thank you for suggesting a person look inside the seal of front-loading washing machines in search of odors. I did not have a washing-machine odor, but I decided to look to see if there was anything inside the seal that could be harboring a problem.
Lo and behold, I found my husband’s car keys that have been missing for two years! — Judi, via email
DEAR JUDI: Well, that’s a new one! I guess he has the cleanest keys in town! — Heloise
DEAR HELOISE: During a recent terrible wind and rainstorm, I lost all the electrical power to my home. I started checking the flashlights and lanterns. I thought, Why not use the solar lights out by the walk? They’ll furnish light all night for the bathrooms and stairs. I brought four in, wrapped their stakes with paper towels and stood them up in tall drinking glasses. The lights shined brightly all night. — E.K. in Statesville, N.C.
DEAR HELOISE: One of the things I often see on the street is a mattress that has fallen off somebody’s vehicle. People do not realize that a gust of wind or the wind they create by driving can cause the mattress to flip up and fall off. I have seen two mattresses on the street within the past week.
Anybody who moves a mattress needs to loop a strong rope through the loops on the sides and across the mattress in at least two or three places. Crisscross the ropes across the mattress as well. — William K. in Houston
DEAR WILLIAM: You are so right, William; road hazards from things falling off or out of a vehicle can cause terrible accidents. It is important to make sure that anything you carry or that’s in the bed of a truck is securely tied down. — Heloise
DEAR HELOISE: I read the hint about pouring laundry soap on a towel and taking it to the laundry.
We spend winter months in a motor home. I put laundry detergent in small plastic bags for each load. I put the clothes in a machine and toss in the bag. It opens during the action. I remove the bag before putting the clothes into the dryer. Saves carrying the large detergent holders. — Rita B., via email
DEAR HELOISE: I found a corner of bathroom tile that had chipped. I did not want to go through the cost of replacing the whole tile. I found a close-match-color nail polish and applied a few light coats, and then a top coat. You would never know the chip was there! — Tina, Wallkill, N.Y.
DEAR TINA: Love it! I’ve repaired many things with nail polish. — Heloise
DEAR HELOISE: I’m often surprised when using the bathroom at friends’ houses to see that they leave the bath mat on the floor, right in the path of those who walk in and out. I wonder how they can fail to notice that they’ll be standing barefoot on the residue of someone’s (and their) dirty shoe tracks when they step out of the shower. A simple solution: Hang the bath mat over the shower bar. It will dry there and stay clean. — Chaz, via mail
DEAR HELOISE: This tip is for those who have “electric” beds, with the thick mattress. I had a difficult time stretching the fitted bottom sheet on the mattress. By raising the head and the foot of the bed, the bed became “shorter,” and the sheet fit easily. — Gail in Huntington Beach, Calif.
DEAR HELOISE: Sometimes I get caked-on grease and food spots on my stovetop that are hard to remove. I have noticed that when I warm the oven up to bake something, it also warms the stovetop a little and helps loosen the grime. It is much easier to wipe and clean off. So every time I bake cookies or other baked goods, I do a quick wipe of the stovetop. — Jean in Vermont
Hints from Heloise is syndicated by King Features Syndicate. Send great hints to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000; by fax, 210-HELOISE (435-6473); or by e-mail, Heloise@Heloise.com.